Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
Is there a name for words derived from another language, like fútbol from football, that sound like the original, but aren't direct translations? Football would translate roughly to ''bola del pie'' in Spanish. I've been wondering this for a long time. Thank you.
Such words are called borrowings – an interesting label, since the words aren’t meant to be returned to the lender!
As in the example that you give, borrowings typically undergo respelling in their new language, so that the users of this language may find it easier to recognise them as “theirs”, as it were. Compare, for example, ‘tufão’ in Portuguese and ‘typhoon’ in English, from the same original word (presumably Greek).
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